Crogan’s Vengeance (discussed here) and Crogan’s March are the first two volumes of what graphic novelist Chris Schweizer calls his “Crogan Adventures”—a planned series of yarns about the men in one fictional family, spanning the last four centuries and several familiar genres of fiction.
Good Comics for Kids interviewed Schweizer about the next volume on his to-do list:
The third book will be the first time I depart from the years stated on the family tree. For the American Revolution book, on the family tree it shows [the brothers] in 1776, but I plan on making the book take place in 1779 or early 1780.The endpapers for Crogan’s Vengeance show the brothers already eyeing each other suspiciously in 1776. Which makes me hope it’s not too late to post a public warning to the artist:
Don’t give eighteenth-century British-American men beards!
As you see, the other Crogans in this picture have facial hair, in two cases quite thick beards. I didn’t mind the bushiness of many characters in Crogan’s Vengeance because that’s set at the very start of the eighteenth century, and on pirate ships, beyond the norms of civilization. But by the late 1700s, British-American men shaved their chins. If they were physically unable to shave for a while, then they got rid of their beards as soon as they could.
That applies to pioneers on the western frontier (who also probably didn’t dress like the 1950s image of the 1830s, in coonskin cap and buckskin). That applies to smugglers and gun runners, especially if they were trying to pass as respectable businessmen within the British Empire.
Schweizer draws in a fun, “cartoony” style. In that approach, it’s only natural to seize on different sorts of facial hair to make one man immediately look different from another, as Scott Chantler did in Northwest Passage. And we have a tendency to amalgamate the fashions of different periods into a single past, as in these “educational” comics.
But looking at portraits, prints, and drawings from the late 1700s makes clear that British-American men didn’t wear beards. Some Hessian and French soldiers probably wore mustaches, but all redcoats and “Minutemen” (we can hope that’s shorthand for Continental Army or some state militia) should be clean-shaven.
[UPDATE at the end of the week: Good news! Schweizer was already on the case. Looking forward to volume three of the Crogan Adventures!]